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Beauty like a shadow flies,
On a Girdle.
That which her slender waist confin'd
A narrow compass! and yet there
To the mutable Fair.
HERE, Cælia, for thy sake I part
Fool that I was ! so much to prize Those simple virtues you despise ! Fool! that with such dull arrows strove, Or hop'd to reach a flying dove! For you, that are in motion still, Decline our force, and mock our skill,
Who, like Don Quixote, do advance
Now will I wander through the air, Mount, make a stoop at every fair, And, with a fancy unconfind, As lawless as the sea or wind, Pursue you wheresoe'er you fly, And with your various thoughts comply.
The formal stars do travel so As we their names and courses know; And he that on their changes looks, Would think them govern'd by our books. But never were the clouds reduc'd To any art: the motion us’d By those free vapours is so light, So frequent, that the conquer'd sight Despairs to find the rules that guide Those gilded shadows as they slide. And therefore of the spacious air Jove's royal consort had the care; And by that power did once escape, Declining bold Ixion's rape : She with her own resemblance grac'd A shining cloud, which he embrac'd.
Such was that image, so it smild With seeming kindness, which beguil'd Your Thyrsis lately, when he thought He had his fleeting Cælia caught; 'Twas shap'd like her, but for the fair He fill'd his arms with yielding air.
A fate for which he grieves the less, Because the gods had like success. For in their story, one, we see, Pursues a nymph, and takes a tree. A second with a lover's haste Soon overtakes whom he had chas’d; But she that did a virgin seem, Possess'd, appears a wandering stream. For his supposed love, a third Lays greedy hold upon a bird, And stands amaz’d to find his dear A wild inhabitant of th' air.
To these old tales such nymphs as you Give credit, and still make them new. The amorous now like wonders find In the swift changes of your mind.
But, Cælia, if you apprehend
Nor would that he record your blame,
To a Lady in a Garden.
Sees not my. love how Time resumes
The glory which he lent these flowers? Though none should taste of their perfumes,
Yet must they live but some few hours.
Had Helen, or th’ Egyptian queen,
Been ne'er so thrifty of their graces,
The spoil of Age, which finds out faces
Should some malignant planet bring
A barren drought or ceaseless shower